What a wild and crazy week this is gonna be. When spring comes to the Ozarks, literally everything pops. We doubt that we need to remind you of three big events, but just in case, here’s the triple crown.
Tonight at the Dickson Theater local musicians will be honored in the 13th annual Northwest Arkansas Music Awards or NAMA XIII. This is the big event that honors the musicians in our community who work so hard to keep the beat alive in NWA, so get out and support them. Limos will begin dropping off musicians for red carpet interviews with red carpet host Michelle Obana at around 6:30 p.m. Awards will be given in 18 categories in the Grammy-style event hosted by Robert Cochran and Kyle Kellams. There will be performances by Benjamin Del Shreve, Memphis Pencils, Luda, Luminfire, One Oz Jig and Pope County Bootleggers. Doors open to the public at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Friday night a new two-day outdoor music festival comes to Dickson Street—Dickson Street Music Festival. Located at the intersection of Dickson Street and West Avenue, gates open at 5 p.m. both nights. Friday night concerts by the Charlie Daniels Band, 38 Special and Shooter Jennings. Saturday night bands will be Sonic Youth, Michael Franti and Spearhead and Little Feat. Tickets are $30 a night, or $50 for both nights at majesticconcerts.com. In case of rain, the shows will move to the Tyson Track Center. Ticket holders will get free admission to after concert shows at George’s where you can catch Fred Tackett, Speakeasy and Vince Herman on Friday and Blind Melon and Bluetech on Saturday, and at Jose’s for Tiffany Christopher and Patrice Pike on both nights.
The grandmother of them all Springfest, the Dickson Street festival that has been around for 26 years, is the official rites of spring in Northwest Arkansas. Organizers have worked hard this year to create the best Springest ever. For the first time, the free festival will open on Friday night and and run until 10 p.m. Saturday. This is a big expansion for what was formerly a Saturday only daytime event. For a schedule, see page 14. New beds are waiting in the wings for the signature bed races, there will be an art sculpture project from recycled materials and chili masters will be swarming to show off their best in a nationally sanctioned cook-off. Chili cooking teams will set up at the southwest corner of Dickson and Block on Saturday morning. The public will be able to taste the samples at 1 p.m., in the deal of the day—all you can eat for $3. Twenty to 30 state and regional championship teams, some with world championship crowns, are expected to compete.
The folks at the OMNI Center have pulled together a green awareness event that will keep kids of all ages entertained throughout the day on Saturday in the Walton Arts Center Rose Garden. See schedule on page 14.
Dickson Street will be closed between Locust Avenue and Powerhouse Drive during the festival. For updates visit fayettevillespringfest.com.
And that’s not all
Aside from the big events—NAMA, Dickson Street Music Festival and Springfest, there are other big events going on all over NWA this week. Take a look at our 8 Days a Week calendar on page 6.
Here are some of the highlights.
On Friday night, H Bros Entertainment is staging the first round of the 2008 NWA Battle of the Bands at The Gypsy on Dickson Street. Set to go in the spring preliminaries are Apartment 5, Dreamfast, Marca and Open Addiction. All of these hot new local bands will all be putting on their best shows, to try and capture the title, which will catapult them to the finals. For information on upcoming competition call 582-2200.
Just down the street on Friday night, you can catch this year’s NAMA Hall of Fame winners, Ocie Fisher and the Hipp Dogs at the UARK Bowl. Doors open at 7:30 for a really big show with some really big talent.
Saturday afternoon during Springfest the gates at The Gypsy will open at 2 p.m. for performances by A Bright Shade of White, Eoff Brothers, Kind, Kucera and Qland. Next door at Jose’s Streetside, catch NAMA Hall of Fame rockers Hunkr Down.
Two big shows are happening later in the week on May 1. New on the scene, but already making waves in their first year out of the gate with two NAMA nominations is pop/ska outfit Hustles the Hall, who will hosting a CD release party for their new album “Don’t Know Any Better” on May 1 at George’s. With two trumpets (Chase Cavalier and Charles Spann), two trombones (Scott Cornish and Chris Harriman), Derek Faires on drums, Cherokee Turner on bass and Shane Harris on guitar and vocals, this is one party band that is going to help you make it though summer.
That same night at Dickson Theater, Lucero will be coming to town for a one-night show with The Good Fear and Inner Party. Get there early. If you’re not in the Lucero fan club, we need to tell you just how popular this band is.
A few other notables: Slightly off the beaten path at 2002 S. School Ave. in south Fayetteville, Flat Rock Clay Studio will be celebrating its fifth birthday with demonstrations and sales on art work and supplies. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, the Boston Mountain Potters will display their work and there will be hot dogs and burgers. Also on tap are pot smashing games and the opportunity to paint a bowl for the Empty Bowls benefit. Special guest will be Yosuke Koizumi who will demonstrate his throwing techniques.
If you haven’t caught the local women’s roller derby yet, head to Springdale on Saturday night when the NWA Rollergirls take on the Pike’s Peak Derby Dame All-Stars and the Oklahoma Victory Dolls at Roller City. Nwarollergirls.com.
Sunday will be a delightful day with “Puppets in the Park” at 1 p.m. at Wilson Park in Fayetteville. Puppet shows, puppet parade, workshops and entertainment by Toucan Jam, Mary and Lolly, Captain Bubbles and more and it’s free.
Be sure and check out all the theater and music events this week in 8 Days a Week. There’s lots to choose from.
On a sad note, the community has lost one of the true nice guys our the music community, Michael Lee Sloate, who passed away last week. Michael was a songwriter and had played with Michael Lee and the JJ’s, Michael Lee Band, Strange Heroes, Walter Ego and Tantic Jam Band. He was a spiritual man who loved nature and was a writer, carpenter, painter and master gardener. There will be a celebration of his life with music and a potluck from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday at Terra Studios in Durham and a memorial camp out and music jam May 2-4 in Madison County on the Yellowbrick Road. For information call 521-4734.
Subject to change
Friday Night on Dickson Street
5 – 10 p.m. – Arts, crafts and food booths, Open Guitar Hero, street performances
7 – 11 a.m. Pancake breakfast at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Kiddie area opens in parking lot behind Jose’s
9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Arts, crafts and food booths
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Kids Pageant and Model Search
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. UA Math and Science booths, Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Water Resources Center, Illinois River Watershed Partnership, Beaver Water District, U.S. Geological Survey, Arkansas Water Science Center
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. OMNI Center activities in WAC Rose Garden
12 – 5 p.m. Street performers
1 p.m. Bed races start at Dickson and West and end near The Gypsy
1 p.m. Chili Cookoff tasting at Dickson and Block
2 p.m. Dog Party USA Dog Parade
6 p.m. Fashion show
8 p.m. Guitar Hero Tourney
OMNI Center celebrates Earth Day
The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology has big plans for Springfest this year. You may remember their ‘Global Warming Maze’ from last year where folk received energy-saving lightbulbs for participating in the maze. It was a tremendous success and a hard act to follow, but the folks at Omni are determined. It all happens from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Walton Arts Center Rose Garden.
This year will be a celebration of Earth Day (Springfest is just four days after Earth Day), but with a carnival theme. The ‘Polar Arcade’ will be the main attraction with arcade games related to environmental issues designed by local artists.
Local luminaries such as Mayor Dan Coody, Harmless T Jester, and Flip Putthoff will be the master barkers. More fun will be offered by Crystalina the fortunetelling polar bear, a toxic two-headed mermaid ‘peep show,’ a movie house showing short environmental cartoons, local green vendors and a kids craft area.
The OMNI Folk Stage will have local musical favorites and performance artist ‘Bite Me.’ There will be an environmental open mic from 3 to 4 p.m., featuring performers who have participated in the OMNI open mic for peace. Along with the music, Texas performance artists, John and Dirje Smith will perform a historical medicine show touting their elixir, ‘Fossil Fool.’ They’ll be telling everyone how just a drop of the stuff will turn a Hummer into a Prius! They will also conduct an environmental quiz show for kids. The stage will, of course, be solar powered and there will be free healthy snow cones and organic juices.
OMNI Center in the Rose Garden
11-11:20 a.m. – The Cave Boys
11:30-11:45 a.m. – Dan Dean and Laura Kelly
11:45 a.m. -12 p.m. – Medicine Show
12- 12:30 p.m. – Shout Lulu
12:30- 12:45 p.m. – Kids Quiz Show
1- 1:45 p.m. – Strange Heroes
1:45- 2 p.m. – Bite Me
2:15- 2:30 p.m. – Medicine Show
2:30- 2:45 p.m. – Quiz Show
2:45- 3 p.m. – Bite Me
3-4 p.m. – OMNI open mic alumni concert